Days of Awe 

Tishri 7

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).

When I was younger, I thought (wrongly) that the Tanakh was about God smiting me if I wasn't perfect. The world echoed that sentiment, and taught me that if I wasn't, I'd “better keep it to myself, or else!” I believed the world when it said I had to live a lie, keeping up a false façade of perfection. When I couldn't do that (who really can?), my pain and shame combined with my fear of retribution to create a burning resentment towards what I thought was “God being unfair.” It was a cozy justification to pull away from Him, and stop trying all together. Who knew I'd been tricked into cutting myself off from God, wrongfully blaming Him for my self-inflicted suffering? He did.


Instead of resenting me like I did Him to “get back at me,” God showed me unconditional love in action. Then He put people in my life to show me His law has always been from His heart for His children. He said to love Him and love my neighbor, clear as day! Suddenly I saw the rest of the Tanakh as Him writing out ways I can do that in my daily life. Then Yeshua came to live out an example of what God had been talking about, and to empower me to also do it. He didn't have to walk through that pain, but He loved me enough to do it anyway, even as imperfect as I was then, and as I still am! Today, with His help, I can admit fault, right wrongs, learn through them, and grow from them. He turns the sins into blessings, redeeming me through His love, and then guides me to bless others as well.


Adonai, search my heart, my thoughts, and my actions. Show me where sin has taken place in my life. Today I choose to not hide them from You, but I release them to You, confessing them before Your love. I thank You that You eagerly wash me clean, removing the death of sin, and restoring the blessing of life and life abundant. Use me to love on others and to guide them to You, their loving Father and Redeemer and King, who wants to see them clothed in Your righteousness.